Free for All

How Linux and the Free Software Movement Undercut the High Tech Titans

Cover image for


Author: Peter Wayner
Published: 2000
Language: English
Wordcount: 117,279 / 344 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 66.3
LoC Category: D
Downloads: 7,070
Added to site: 2006.08.30 14734
License: by-nc-nd

Read this story of how a loose-knit group of programmers, dreamers, philosophers, geniuses and fools discovered the fact that that they could write better software in less time by just giving it all away. Follow the ecstasy, the triumphs, the battles, the failures, the treachery, the cooperation, the wrong turns, the teamwork, the struggles, and the backbiting on the road to triumph and total global domination.

Show Excerpt

Blue Screen of Death" that appears on Windows users' monitors when something goes irretrievably wrong is the butt of many jokes.

Linux users also bragged about the quality of their desktop interface. Most of the uninitiated thought of Linux as a hacker's system built for nerds. Yet recently two very good operating shells called GNOME and KDE had taken hold. Both offered the user an environment that looked just like Windows but was better. Linux hackers started bragging that they were able to equip their girlfriends, mothers, and friends with Linux boxes without grief. Some people with little computer experience were adopting Linux with little trouble.

Building websites and supercomputers is not an easy task, and it is often done in back rooms out of the sight of most people. When people began realizing that the free software hippies had slowly managed to take over a large chunk of the web server and supercomputing world, they realized that perhaps Microsoft's claim was viable. Web servers and su


Average Rating of 3.4 from 5 reviews: ****

Very useful...


I'm about halfway through the book. It has a few good bits of historical information but is far to heavily biased in my opinion. The author gushes about the wonderfulness and vision of anything OSS; and is terse and deprecetory of anything payware.


it is useful!


a great philosophical look at the implications of gnu linux open source free software .excellent.

i think this book will help me to learn more about linux.

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